Seattle used vinyl merchants?
June 1, 2005 12:35 PM   Subscribe

My parents are coming to visit my wife and I in July, and they are also bringing their 500+ or so collection of 60s- and 70s-era vinyl (mostly rock, some country). My mother has charged me with the task of finding some retailer who will buy this stuff.

Google searches aren't much help in terms of whether or not people suck, though. So I'm wondering: any Seattleites have any good advice on where my folks can sell their old LPs?

(No, they have zero interest in eBaying the stuff. They basically want someone to take the whole pile off their hands. I'm just trying to find someplace that won't bone them.)
posted by Skot to Shopping (18 answers total)
I suppose a yard sale is out of the question?
posted by anapestic at 12:39 PM on June 1, 2005

I just talked to Tower Records (in Atlanta) about moving some vinyl and they seem to be able to take the more mainstream-type material, however they will be quite picky about condition.

Your best bet is to open the Yellow Pages and call around. They can't give exact answers until they see the collection, but find out their usual price range, what they generally buy, and an estimate of their rejection rate.

I tried to find someone who could assure me of a 90%+ buy, but the answer was that many items aren't even worth a dime.
posted by mischief at 1:06 PM on June 1, 2005

Like most metro areas, Seattle has used vinyl stores -- check 'em out. Don't get your hopes up, though. Lots of people have old records they no longer use, but customers interested in LPs (used or otherwise) are quite scarce.
posted by Rash at 1:11 PM on June 1, 2005

We recently had a garage sale. I didn't put my vinyl out, but several people asked if I had any, so I let them browse. I chatted with a couple of the guys.

Apparently (here in Portland, at least), there's not much of a market for anything unless it's a) collectible for some reason and b) in good shape. Most of my vinyl didn't qualify.

Sure, there'll be people interested in an album here or there for sentimental reasons, but mostly the collectors are after specific albums and in good condition.

If I were trying to get rid of my albums (and I'm not), I'd try either eBay or craigslist. The former to piece them out, and the latter to sell the stuff as a lot. I wouldn't expect to get much money for it, though. I'd be happy with $50. There's no worrying about "getting boned". This stuff just isn't worth much. It's a case of high supply and low demand.
posted by jdroth at 1:16 PM on June 1, 2005

Bop Street records on Ballard Avenue.

Half Price Books.
posted by matildaben at 1:16 PM on June 1, 2005

Vinyl is making a resurgence and there exists a thriving market in old vinyl, but most people are looking for albums in excellent shape. However, dealers may sell these used records for five bucks or so, but will offer you more like a dollar. Old jazz records, especially pre 1960, can fetch a pretty penny. If they have any significant quantity of these they should get a collector's price guide before unloading them so that they don't get offered low ball prices by an unscrupulous dealer.
posted by caddis at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2005

jdroth ... how many albums are you talking about for 50 bucks? 500? ... i'm trying to figure out what my collection might be worth ... most of it's undistinguished
posted by pyramid termite at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2005

It seems to me that any town with DJs would be happy to take the collection off your hands. Quality or not they are always looking for cool things to sample.

If I had the space to store them, I would. I just reclaimed my old vinyl from my father's house when he passed away and it prompted me to buy a turntable, and now I have plans to hook it up to the Marantz CDR 300. Well, in my copious free time.
posted by terrapin at 1:57 PM on June 1, 2005

Any local record store will bone them. If they just want rid of them with a little bit of pocket money then you could try selling to a local record store, DJ etc, but a local record store would most probably take them in and pick through them for a few days, then pick the best 20 records and offer you a pittance. The audience eBay affords you cannot really be equalled if they want a good price.
posted by fire&wings at 2:25 PM on June 1, 2005

If you can't find any takers in Seattle and have some reason to drive to San Francisco (or L.A.) sometime in the near future, Amoeba Records will almost certainly buy a good percentage of them at a decent price.
posted by scody at 2:28 PM on June 1, 2005

Oh yeah, and Bud's Jazz Records in Pioneer Square.
posted by matildaben at 2:30 PM on June 1, 2005

You might be able to donate them to a library for a used book sale (where I get most my classical vinyl for 25 cents an album) for a reasonable tax write off.

I recently had a yard sale - albums for 10-25 cents a piece - and the only stuff that sold was my latin music. Most everything I had was in excellent to mint condition.

In general, folks had a great time reminiscing and flipping through the covers for the 50s/60s stuff, but just didn't buy - mainly because it seems no one has a record player anymore (at owning 3, I know I am an anomaly).
posted by Sangre Azul at 3:01 PM on June 1, 2005

I wouldn't build up false hopes, scody -- many's the time I've seen stacks of discarded vinyl, just outside the entrance of Amoeba.
posted by Rash at 3:09 PM on June 1, 2005

David at Jive Time Records was recommended to me as a buyer who prices fairly by a collector. On their web site it says "Selling Your Records? WE MAKE HOUSCALLS. Call our buyers direct at 206-501-6889"
posted by trixie_bee at 3:26 PM on June 1, 2005

Rash: good point. I was just thinking that because Skot mentioned that it's a lot of rock and some country from the '60s and '70s, Amoeba might be more likely to get excited about that stuff -- the last time I was selling CDs at the Hollywood Amoeba, another guy in line was selling quite a bit of '60s rock/pop vinyl that the buyer seemed fairly excited about (he said they'd been getting an overload of '80s/early '90s vinyl lately...which prompted me to make the mental note not to bother bringing all my own '80s vinyl in!).
posted by scody at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2005

Bop street would love that stuff, if it's in decent condition.
posted by matildaben at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2005

I'd probably buy some of it. I, and many others, still rock the vinyl.
posted by trbrts at 8:58 PM on June 1, 2005

What is this "vinyl" you speak of?
posted by wsg at 12:54 AM on June 2, 2005

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